Are you stuck in suffering even though God has a better plan?

Even though you may have accepted Jesus as your Savior and Lord, you and I will still encounter trials and hardships in this life here on earth.  They are inevitable.  In fact Jesus told his disciples in John 16:33..”In this world you will have trouble.”   Sometimes, the trouble is inside our marriage, and when that’s the case, we often find the need to practice great patience, endurance and “longsuffering”.  The Bible tells us in Ephesians 4:2 that we should act “with all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love…” (KJV).  Other translations use the word “patience” in the place of longsuffering.

However, the Bible doesn’t always advise us to just sit on our hands and settle into a long season of quiet endurance and longsuffering.   Jesus says in Matthew 18:15-17 that we’re supposed to confront someone who is sinning against us.  We always need to be respectful and loving, yet he tells us to confront that person.

So yes, there is a place for patience and longsuffering in relationships.  However, it occurs to me that perhaps the best time for longsuffering is when you’ve already confronted the person sinning against you and they are working to turn away from that pattern of sin.  I guess my question to you is this:  Have you lovingly and firmly confronted your husband if he is sinning against you or your children?    Have you drawn clear boundaries on what you will accept and have you followed through with appropriate consequences when necessary?  If you haven’t, then there’s a chance you are longsuffering outside of God’s will.  Pray about it and see what God reveals.

One way your husband could help you

I tend to constantly pick at a dysfunctional relationship in my life.  It drives me a little crazy that I am estranged from some relatives.  I keep on feeling like I need to “fix it”.  This has been going on for years!  And I think Satan has my number on this.  Just when I think I’ve sorted through my responsibility in the situation and come to the conclusion that I’ve done everything I should, Satan whispers into my ear once again “this is your fault”…”you aren’t handling this correctly as a Christian”…blah, blah, blah.  And the cycle repeats itself every few months…for years!

I was feeling this way again last night, and I rehashed that fractured relationship once again with my husband.  Bless his heart!  I’m so thankful that he can actually be patient with me as I talk through that situation over and over again every few months.  Anyway, he quickly reminded me that I have done everything I can.  He helped me to see the situation objectively.  Where I was consumed with emotions and doubt, he could see more clearly.  As Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 says “Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil.  For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up!”

Sometimes, you and I really do need our husbands counsel.  Often, they are less emotional than we are.  Many times, they can see the situation much more objectively and correctly assess how it should be handled.  Plus, our husbands love it when we come to them for advice, because it signifies that we actually respect their opinion.  Is it time to seek your husband’s counsel on a situation in your life?  Two are often better than one!

Something husbands want their wife to say

We all know that women are greatly concerned about their body image….maybe even obsessed about it!  But did you know that men are also hyper-sensitive about one aspect of their body image?  Most, if not all men, really want to be perceived as strong and muscular.  This means your husband yearns for you to notice and appreciate his muscles!  He’s not going to tell you that, but he really wants to be perceived as strong and muscular!

Perhaps this is why the bride in the Bible’s Song of Songs continues to tell her groom over and over again how she values his strength and muscular body.  Here are some examples of what she tells him:  Song of Songs 2:8-9 “Behold, he comes, leaping over the mountains, bounding over the hills. My beloved is like a gazelle or a young stag.”   Song of Songs 5:14-15 “His arms are rods of gold set with topaz. His body is like polished ivory decorated with lapis lazuli. His legs are pillars of marble set on bases of pure gold. His appearance is like Lebanon, choice as its cedars.”

When’s the last time you verbally admired your husband’s strength?  When is the last time you noticed his biceps and made a little comment about how impressive they are?  Your husband craves those comments!

— or view this topic as a 2 minute VIDEO HERE

Prideful words can actually be helpful!

Normally, pride isn’t a very good thing. In fact, God tells us over and over again throughout His Word that we need to get rid of pride.  I think we’ve all heard the Bible verse “Pride goeth before a fall” (Proverbs 16:18).

But here’s the thing.  I believe God is talking about getting rid of pride in ourselves.   He doesn’t want us to be puffed up and arrogant.  God wants us to attract people to Him through our humility.   However, I don’t see any place in Scripture where God tells us to avoid telling our loved ones that we are proud of them.  That kind of “pride” isn’t arrogant.  It’s extremely encouraging to the recipient!

In fact, telling your husband “I’m proud of you” can move your husband out of paralyzing insecurity into confident, positive action.  When you say, “You’re a good man”, or “you have a good heart”, or I’m so proud to be your wife”, you are speaking words of life to your husband.  He longs to hear those words.  It’s time we stopped focusing only on what’s wrong with our husbands, and looked for some things that we can honestly affirm.  Our men need our encouragement!

This hit home for me recently.  My husband took the time to tell me that he feels tremendously encouraged when I occasionally pop into his home office and tell him I’m proud to be his wife.  That tiny little statement builds him up.  It helps him press back into the challenges that await him.  It helps him feel like he can slay dragons.  His wife is proud of him.  She believes in him.  He has the courage and confidence to keep moving forward.  Your words are powerful!  Have you told your man that you’re proud of him lately?  Are you speaking those essential words to your husband?

Don’t fall for these big, fat, stinky lies!

I am on the war path…against the devil!  I will not stand idly by while he tries to destroy the marriages of beautiful Christian wives who fall for his diabolical schemes.  I should know all about his schemes because I fell into them in my first marriage.  So heed my warning.  I know from first-hand experience that Satan wants to lure your thinking down the wrong path.

You’ve probably heard the verse in John 10:10 where Jesus reveals Satan’s mission to “steal, kill and destroy”.  Well, a primary tool of Satan is big, fat, rotten lies!  Jesus reveals this in John 8:44 where, referring to the devil, he says, “When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.”

Be on high alert for the devil to whisper lies that might sound something like this:  “Your husband is a total jerk”, “Your marriage is hopeless”, “You deserve a different husband”, “You should file for divorce”, “Your kids would be better off if you divorce”, “You don’t need to listen to advice from your church friends who think you should work on your marriage.”, etc.  These are big, fat, rotten lies from the pit of hell.  Don’t be impulsive.  Don’t rush into a divorce.  Give God time to work on your husband…and on you!

How to lower anxiety in your home!

Who would have thunk it?  (Yes, I know thunk is not a word).  Anyway, I discovered something absolutely fascinating several years ago, and it was confirmed by a young wife at Squadron of Sisters during a subsequent meeting.  Husbands can become very stressed, anxious and uneasy when their home is a mess!  I had read surveys about this before, but it was really underscored by what a wife shared with our group.

She said her husband started to have pretty severe anxiety problems.  She didn’t understand why. He had a good job. She had a good job.  Their relationship was going well.  So what could be the problem?  Well, she attended an SOS meeting where we shared that men really desire a tidy household.  So, she went home and created a chore chart with stickers (yes, like parents use with their kids!).  She didn’t do all the chores herself.  She simply took charge of creating a plan to make sure the house could become tidy and clean.

The result?  Within a very short time, her husband’s anxiety completely disappeared!  Wow!  I guess that Proverbs 31 wife really has it figured out.  In verse 27, the Bible describes her as a woman who “looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.”  Coming up with a plan to keep your house tidy and clean can really boost your man’s sanity!  P.S. You might find that your anxiety drops a notch or two as well!

Conquering that oppressive insecurity!

I’m a fairly confident, secure woman….most of the time.  But there are still moments where that awful insecurity shows up.  How about you?  For me, it often relates to the way I look.  Am I really attractive enough to keep my husband’s interest?  Sometimes, I’m insecure in terms of whether friends or even relatives really like me.  Ugh.  I hate feeling so insecure!

So, how do we become more secure?  Well, for me, it means turning to God for my “value”.  I need to remember the only audience that really matters is an audience of one.  God is the one with whom I will spend eternity.  He is the one who created me to be in relationship with Him.  He is really the only one I need to please, and what he says about me is really all that matters.

Meditate on these Scriptures and if you’re anything like me, you will feel a warm blanket of security envelop you.

Psalm 139:13-16

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.  I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.  My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.  Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.

Zephaniah 3:17

The Lord your God is with you, He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you; He will quiet you with his love; He will rejoice over you with singing.

Romans 8:38-39

For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.